7 Best Wood Planer Reviews: How to Make Wood Flat and Straight
When working with wood pieces or boards, you will always need to get rid of the rough spots or give the pieces a smooth finish, and for this, the tool you need is the wood planer. A wood planer is a must have in any workshop because it is one of those tools that you will use in almost all your projects regardless of their nature or scale.
This valuable tool comes in various types and sizes, and each is suitable for smoothing different wood/board types and sizes and so it is important to make the right choice. Although some professional woodworkers prefer to have one like the benchtop or jointer planer than can handle almost anything, your particular needs are what should dictate your choice.
Table of Contents
- 7 Best Wood Planers - Reviews
- Types of Planer
- What to Always Look for When Buying a Planer
7 Best Wood Planers - Reviews
Max speed RPM
Wen 6530 Electric Hand Planer
Porter-Cable PC60THP Hand Planer
Bosch PL1632 Hand Planer
Dewalt DW734 Benchtop Planer
Dewalt DW735 2-Speed Thickness Planer
Powertec PL1251 Planer
Grizzly G0505 Portable Planer
#1. Wen 6530 Electric Hand Planer
Editor's Rating: (4.6 / 5)
Wen 6350 is the cheapest and also one of the lightest wood planers in our list. This electric hand planer runs on a 6-amp motor and with two blades that can produce a total of 34,000 CPM (cuts per minute) to help you get the smooth surface that you desire fast.
The 16 positive stops on this unit make it easy to adjust for a variety of cutting depths. You can set the depth anywhere between 0 and 1/8 inches making it easy for woodworkers to get the smoothness they desire. Wen 6350 also makes it possible to make rabbets that are up to 1-inch thanks to the 5/6 inch rabbeting guide.
This electric planer also features a kickstand to ensure the blades never come into contact with the surface when you are not planing. Wen 6350 also has a reversible chute that makes it possible to change the aim of the sawdust, a parallel fence bracket and the company backs it with a 2-year warranty.
- 6-amp motor provides 34,000 CPM.
- 16 positive stops offer a variety of cutting depths.
- Lightweight wood planer as it only weighs 6 pounds
- Reversible dust chute makes it possible to change the aim of the sawdust
- Kickstand prevents unintentional blade contact
- 2-year warranty.
- The knob can unintentionally click into a new depth when using this planer as it does not have a mechanism to prevent this.
Who Should Buy?
The Wen 6530 is the cheapest and lightest hand planer in our list, and it is suitable for small and medium size projects. This planer is an excellent buy for hobbyists or DIYers that want something affordable for their DIY projects.
#2. Porter-Cable PC60THP Hand Planer
Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)
Porter-Cable PC60THP is the second most affordable unit in our list and also one of the lightest. It runs on a heavy-duty 6-amp motor that can produce up to 16,500 RPM for smooth and easy material removal.
This hand planer comes with dual dust extractors that make it possible to place the dust bag on either side for convenient dust collection. The planer also has an over-mold knob with 10 positive steps to make it possible to adjust the cutting depth and 3 chamfering grooves for more edge chamfering options.
Finally, the Porter-Cable PC60THP also includes an 11.5-inch aluminum shoe that provides better control and a superior finish, and you also get a carry bag for the tool.
- Powerful and heavy-duty 6-amp motor.
- Dual side dust ports for extraction of sawdust on either side.
- 10-positive steps for different cutting depths.
- 11.5-inch aluminum shoe for extra control and top notch finish quality.
- 3 chamfering grooves for edge chamfering options.
- The carrying bag is too small for this tool.
Who Should Buy?
Although this electric hand planer is still very effective in smoothening woods, most woodworkers seem to love it because of the dual-side dust extractors. And so, if you are in the market for something that is useful in keeping the work area clean, this is the tool for you.
#3. Bosch PL1632 Hand Planer
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
The 3 1/4 inch PL1632 by Bosch offers a powerful 6.5 amp motor that makes stock removal easy and fast for every woodworker. This 6.5 amp motor is one of the most powerful that you can get on any hand planer and it can attain speeds of up to 16,500 RPM.
Bosch PL1632 is one of the safest in the market, and this is thanks to the industry-first lock-on/off button that prevents accidental start-up and makes extended operation possible. This unit comes with a dual-mount fence that makes the tool easy to guide while also preventing marring of the workpiece surface.
Lastly, this hand planer also features a built-in stand with a spring load that helps to protect the planer blade when not in use and separate depth and inch scales to make it easy for you to set the depth.
- 6.5 Amp motor can run at 16,500 RPM for fast material removal.
- Spring-loaded stand elevates it to protect the blade.
- Dual-mount fence with a protective shield for even door edge planing.
- Handle with an optimal angle for a forward motion and very comfortable grip.
- Metric and inch depth scales for easy depth setting.
- Industry first lock-on/off button.
- The sole on this wood planer scratches easily.
Who Should Buy?
The 6.5 amp motor in this unit provides more power than most other handheld ones. This makes it perfect for a professional woodworker or even a hobbyist looking for something with some extra power.
#4. Dewalt DW734 12-1/2-Inch Benchtop Planer
Editor's Rating: (4.7 / 5)
When going through our benchtop planer reviews and most others online, you will notice that Dewalt units will always feature prominently. The Dewalt DW734 is one of their most popular benchtop planer and the fact that many professional woodworkers use it shows that it is a top notch power tool. This unit runs on a powerful 15-amp motor that can reach speeds of up to 20,000 RPM meaning it can handle any wood type.
Dewalt DW734 has a 3-knife cutter head that provides 96 cuts per inch to ensure that you get a smooth piece of wood fast. This unit uses some razor sharp knives which are reversible and disposable. Changing the blades is also very quick and effortless thanks to the machined pins.
You will never have to worry about keeping the work area clean because this benchtop planer comes with an efficient dust and debris management system. The system includes a dust hood that can connect to a standing dust collector or shop vacuum.
In addition to the impressive smoothening efficiency, this Dewalt wood planer also has a four-column carriage that reduces the movements that cause damage to material or snipe. Dewalt backs it with a 3-year warranty and a 90-day money back guarantee.
- Powerful 15-amp motor with 20,000 RPM for larger and deeper cuts.
- Extra long feed tables (infeed and outfeed) can support massive materials.
- 4-column carriage reduces movement drastically.
- Disposable and reversible knives make knife change fast and easy.
- 3-knife cutter edge provides 96 cuts for every inch for a smooth finish.
- 3-year limited warranty and a 90-day money back guarantee.
- It takes more passes to get the thickness and smoothness you desire for hardwood.
Who Should Buy?
The Dewalt DW734 is a large capacity benchtop planer that can handle any type of wood including all hardwoods. It is the best benchtop planer for a professional woodworker or hobbyists with a lot of boards and large pieces to plane.
#5. Dewalt DW735 2-Speed Thickness Planer
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
Dewalt DW735 runs on a 15-amp motor that is capable of 20,000 RPM, and it can handle large cuts and in wider materials than most other players. It comes with a 3-knife cutter head that delivers a knife that is up to 30% longer, and it also makes the blade changing easy and fast.
This thickness planer has a 2-speed gearbox that makes it possible to alter the speed so that you can optimize the cut per inch and you can run it at either 96 or 179 CPI. The Dewalt DW735 has an automatic carriage lock that helps to reduce the movements that cause snipe, and so there will not be need of any manual engagement by the woodworker.
With this planer, you also get a 19 3/4 inch aluminum base that is up to 2 times more rigid than the standard 10 inch one. Although this unit also has a firm support most thickness planer reviews point out the price and the weight as some of its significant shortcomings. This thickness planer is the most expensive and also the heaviest on our list.
- 15-amp motor with 20,000 RPM cuts thick material with ease.
- 3-knife cutter head with a longer knife that is easier to change.
- 2-speed gearbox makes it possible to adjust the speed to optimize the cut.
- 19 3/4 inch aluminum base is up to two times more rigid than standard 10-inch ones.
- Auto carriage lock for reducing the movements that cause snipe.
- Comes with extra set of knives, infeed, and outfeed tables.
- It is an expensive thickness planer.
Who Should Buy?
The Dewalt DW735 ranks among the best thickness planers that you can get anywhere due to its many features, but it is also one of the priciest on our list and in the market. This planer is best suited for a professional contractor that wants something that can handle a heavy workload and is ready to spend the extra cash to own it.
#6. Powertec PL1251 12-1/2-Inch Planer
Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)
Powertec PL1251 is an outstanding tool that will work well for both professional woodworkers and hobbyists. It comes with a powerful 15-amp motor that is capable of reaching a peak performance of 2 HP. This motor provides a cutter head speed of up to 9,400 RPM and an outstanding 18,000 CPM which give this planer the ability to handle almost any stock.
This planer can handle material that is up to 12 1/2 inches wide and 6 inches thick, and so it is suitable for nearly all your planing needs in the workshop. The Powertec PL1251 comes in a 4-column design that provides more accuracy and stability and with an index pin setup for easy EZ blade replacement without having to use a blade gauge.
The side mounted carrying handles on this thickness planer make it one of the best portable planers since you can move it from one site to the other or around the workshop quickly. Although it is one of the priciest units on our list, it is hard to find better quality at the same or cheaper price.
- 15-amp motor with a cutter head speed of 9,400 RPM.
- 4-column design provides greater accuracy and stability.
- Index pin setup makes EZ blade replacement easy.
- Workpiece return rollers for easy planing of boards that are extra-long.
- Spindle locks make blade changing safe.
- Side-mounted carrying handle for easy portability.
- Leaves a mess behind as it does not have an efficient dust collection system.
Who Should Buy?
For a 15-amp wood planer, this unit is quite affordable, and it is hard to get anything better at the same price. It also handles stocks that are up to 6 inches thick, and this makes it perfect for both hobbyist and professional woodworkers that want an affordable thickness planer for thicker boards and pieces of wood.
#7. Grizzly G0505 Portable Planer
Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)
The Grizzly G0505 portable planer review is the last item on our list and it is a product that comes from a company that specializes in making easy to use and convenient woodworking tools. The G0505 features a 2 HP motor that can deliver a cutting head speed of up to 10,000 RPM. This tool has a feed rate of 32 FPM, and it has some top-mounted return rollers that make the feeding easy.
The extra long extension tables provide a larger working space than what you get from most others while the 1/8 inch thick knives provide smooth and consistent cuts. With this planer, you get a maximum cutting width of 12 1/2 inches, and it can handle stocks that are up to 6 inches thick and with a maximum cut depth of 3/32 inches.
Other features that make this portable planer stand out include the on/off toggle switch and the thermal overload protection that prevents overheating.
- 2 HP motor delivers up to 10,000 RPM.
- Top-mounted rollers make it easy to feed.
- Extra-large extensions provide an ample working space.
- 1/8 inch knives always produce a smooth finish.
- Handles up to 6-inch thick stock with a maximum cut depth of 3/32 inches.
- Thermal overload protection prevents overheating.
- All metal construction makes it more prone to rusting.
Who Should Buy?
This portable planer is easy to carry around but can still handle large pieces of wood and give them very smooth finishes, and so it is a good choice for a contractor that wants something heavy duty that is still movable from one site to another.
Types of Planer
Every woodworker has a favorite kind of wood planer, but most will still prefer to have various types because they are handy for different situations. Our wood planer reviews above will help you choose a high-quality unit, but it is still vital for both hobbyist and professional woodworkers to know the various kinds available.
#1. Handheld Planer
The handheld planer is the oldest type of this tool, and it is perfect for smoothening wood in straightforward fashion when you do not need any complicated finish. It is a portable woodworking tool that does not take up a lot of space in the workshop, and it is the easiest planer to master even for a beginner.
The small size and lightweight of this hand planer make it easy to handle and store. However, the small size also makes it only ideal for detailing and you cannot use it to create some identical pieces. Also, the size means that it is not very useful when you want to level huge or many planks of wood.
#2. Thickness Planer
If you are trying to get some uniform thickness on your pieces of wood, the thickness planer is the tool that you need to use. This type fills in the gaps that the handheld planer leaves by reducing the wood by more than one inch and doing it consistently for every piece.
When you want to shave some consistent amount of stock or want to get rid of precise inches, this is the best planer for you as you can set it to get rid of a particular amount of thickness. Although it can be as small as most other portable planers, it is not very portable because it needs a lot of space to work well.
#3. Benchtop Planer
The benchtop is very reliable when you want to be in control of the thickness that you get from any piece of wood. These wood planers provide sufficient power, speed, and capacity for woodworkers when doing medium and large woodworking projects.
Although benchtop planers have the characteristics of both the thickness and portable planers they are a little bigger than the latter and require more space to operate. These wood planers are easy to move from one site to the other, and they offer better thickness control.
#4. Jointer Planer
A jointer wood planer acts as both a jointer tool (a machine for smoothening joints to create a better fit) and as a wood planer. With this wood plane, you do not have to buy separate tools when working on joints.
The jointer planer is the perfect tool for medium and large woodworking projects, and the fact that it has a lot of power means that you can use it for various tasks at ago hence making it one of the best hand planers to have in your workshop. However, it is also noteworthy to know that it is the most expensive, largest and also the bulkiest of all the wood plane types.
#5. Portable Planer
Portable planes are small and compact, but unlike the handheld planers, they are stationary. It is important to know that all the handheld types of planers are portable but not all portables are handheld. These wood planes are small stationary units that you can carry from one site to the other, and most are electric to make them more convenient for users.
If you want something that gives consistent thickness for your small repairs at home or when working on small pieces of wood you should get the best portable planer because it makes all this and much more possible.
What to Always Look for When Buying a Planer
Knowing the different types of wood planes in the market and reading the detailed wood planer reviews in this piece will make sure that you always get a high-quality unit. However, it is still vital for all woodworkers to know what to look for when shopping for these handy tools.
#1. Planer Type
The best wood planers for you will depend on the intended use or the jobs that you want to complete. If you are dealing with projects that require you to use small pieces of wood the handheld or portable ones are excellent choices. For medium and large woodworking projects that require you to use large pieces of woods/boards, the benchtop planer and the jointer planer will work best for you.
Your workspace will also determine the right planer for you because some like the thickness, jointer, and benchtop require a lot of space and this is because they are for smoothening large pieces of wood. When using these tools, the wood will go in on one end and come out the other, and so you need enough space for this. If you have a small workshop, a portable or handheld plane might be the best option.
The motor is what powers the planer, and so it is an important factor to consider. Luckily, most come with either a universal motor or an induction motor type and so it is easy to choose. The universal motor is what you find in the small handheld or portable planers, and it is ideal for hobbyist doing small woodworking projects at home as it is lightweight and inexpensive.
An induction planer motor, on the other hand, is for heavy duty use and it is what you find in most jointer and benchtop planers. Although it is what gives these larger planers their power it also makes them more expensive. The high cost of this motor means that it is very rare even for the best cheap planers to use it.
#4. The Stroke Count
The number of knives in the planer and the rotation speed are the two things that determine the stroke count. A wood plane with many blades will create more stroke counts while one that rotates them fast will also create more stroke counts per second.
The type of timber that you intend to use the tool for is what should determine the right stroke count. Some stocks will get smoothest with slower strokes while others require swift strokes for the best results. But the best idea is to choose one with variable speeds so that you can use it for all types of woods.
#5. The Thickness and Width
One of the principal purposes for buying these tools is to control the thickness of stocks, and so anything that you buy should be efficient in doing this. Some wood planes make it easy to adjust how thick you want to shave off the material while some heavy duty ones will deal with up to 6-inches of thickness. The ideal one for you depends on your woodworking projects.
Width, on the other hand, is what will determine the size of wood that the tool can smoothen. The portable and compact units like the handheld planer can only handle small pieces of wood while the permanent ones like the benchtop will handle wider stocks even though they take long to achieve the smoothness that you desire.